Tuesday, August 27, 2013


(A slight break from posting my travel blog to bring you current events out of Kyrgyzstan...)

Last night I learned that in rural Kyrgyzstan in recent days, one person has died of Bubonic Plague and three have come down with symptoms. Bubonic plague, despite being the Black Death of the Middle Ages is (typically) treatable with modern antibiotics, assuming that treatment begins in time. Early reports just said that the boy who died was in the Issyk Kul region. Now, I spent my summer in the Issyk Kul region, and it's a pretty big place. This morning I learned from this article (in Russian) I learned that the incident occurred in the Ak-Suu area of the Issyk Kul region, which is the area at the east end of Lake Issyk Kul over by Karakol. As of this evening, it was reported that the specific village where the outbreak occurred is Sary Kamysh, to the east of Karakol. A couple of websites have reported that the deceased youth contracted plague while "after eating barbecued marmot while visiting relatives in southern Kyrgyzstan" (see here and here) although everything about that claim seems rather fishy to me.

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The 'A' marks Sary Kamysh. (There is another village named Sary Kamysh located closer to Balykchy on the north-western edge of the lake; however, it is not located in the Ak-Suu area.) For those worried about catching the Black Death while vacationing at Lake Issyk Kul itself, I'd say there's little need to worry, given the location of the outbreak.

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And just to refresh your memory, here are the locations of the two villages where I spent my summer, with respect to Lake Issyk Kul, so that you can compare their location to that of the outbreak.

Bubonic Plague Scare Hits Kyrgyzstan
Boy Dies of Bubonic Plague in Kyrgyzstan
Death from Bubonic Plague Reported in Kyrgyzstan
Bubonic Plague Kills Teen in Kyrgyzstan

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